Monday, September 27, 2021

Noxon Red Devils win first game of season

Valley Press | September 15, 2021 12:00 AM

It was, as Noxon head coach Bart Haflich said, “nice to get on the right side of the score for sure.”

Haflich was referencing his Red Devils hard-fought 32-15 win over Sunburst in last week’s encounter on the Refiners home field.

“We still have lots of work to do, but it’s always nice to get a W,” he added.

Noxon came into the Montana six-man football game at 0-2 on the young season, having dropped a pair of games, one on the road and one at home.

Friday’s game took the Red Devils to the northern fringe’s of the state where they got on the scoreboard first.

Senior Nathan Cano was on the receiving end of the opening score, a 23-yard pass from quarterback Derreck Christensen. The point after touchdown kick failed, leaving the visitors with a 6-0 lead.

Sunburst bounced back from the opening Noxon score later in the first quarter when quarterback Cade Hanson hooked up with wide receiver Conner Sullivan on a 43-yard touchdown pass. Hanson added the PAT kick to boost the Refiners in front, 8-6 as the opening quarter came to a conclusion.

The second quarter was all Noxon.

The Red Devils reclaimed the lead in the early moments of quarter number two when tight end Trevan Monegan hauled in a short 7-yard touchdown flip from Christensen. The extra point kick by Christensen was good, putting Noxon ahead 14-8.

Noxon added another score before the end of the first half on another touchdown pass, this one from sophomore tight end Shamus Weldon to Levi Wenz, good for 15 yards and six points. The PAT try was no good but at the half, Noxon led 20-8.

The Red Devils defense continued its stingy second quarter play in the opening 10 minutes of the second half, shutting down the Refiners while adding another touchdown to their tally.

Noxon’s bruising running back Cade VanVleet added to his season TD total with a 10-yard run into the end zone. The PAT kick attempt was again no good, but the Red Devils’ lead increased to 26-8 as the third quarter came to an end.

The two teams traded touchdowns in the final quarter. Sunburst narrowed the Noxon lead midway through the quarter when Hanson broke free on a 15-yard scoring scoot. Hanson then threw a successful point after touchdown to Sullivan.

That score cut the Red Devil lead to 26-15 but it would not be enough to overcome the early Noxon advantage.

Before the game ended, the Red Devils added one final score of their own on a 4-yard touchdown plunge by Monegan to produce the final 32-15 score.

The win boosted Noxon to 1-2 on the 2021 campaign, while the loss dropped Sunburst to 1-2.

Next up for Noxon is a bye this weekend before they take to the road the following week for a Saturday, Sept. 25 game against Gardner.